recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : bubbles   36

How Did WeWork’s Adam Neumann Build a $47 Billion Company?
“The We Company’s headquarters in Chelsea, where more than a thousand of its employees work, is something of a testing ground for how it can serve even larger organizations. (The company will eventually move into the old Lord & Taylor flagship on Fifth Avenue, which it recently bought.) The sixth-floor entrance is flanked by a full-service barista and a “living room” with an array of couches and lounge chairs roughly the size and feel of a West Elm showroom. There are Foosball and bumper-pool tables, along with three video-game consoles. Beyond that is the WeMRKT, an “in-office bodega,” as a WeWork spokesperson called it, next to a kitchen with a dozen taps serving beer, cider, cold brew, Merlot, Pinot, several kombuchas, and seltzer. On one of my visits, signs advertised astrology readings for employees that afternoon.

Aside from a few offices reserved for Neumann and a handful of executives, the headquarters has almost no assigned desks, and some WeWork employees describe a near-constant mental and physical battle to find a space with enough quiet and privacy for concentration. (The private phone booths are coveted, as they are in most WeWorks.) Joel Steinhaus, a WeWork executive, told me that his previous office at Citi allocated 200-to-250 square feet per person, while WeWork has shrunk that number to around 50. (A WeWork spokesperson says the number is higher.) WeWork claims that additional common spaces and amenities make up the difference, but also that closeness has benefits. A half-dozen WeWork employees repeated the same talking point to me about the narrowness of its staircases and hallways, which are there to foster community by forcing people to physically interact with anyone they walk past. They say any cost savings from fitting in more people is merely a bonus.

Building community is what WeWork has always promised, and its pitch to large corporations is not just hip design and flexible leasing terms but what WeWork calls its “WeOS,” referring to its expertise in helping companies optimize both space and overall culture. (In 2017, McKelvey was named WeWork’s chief culture officer, and he’s fond of using one of WeWork’s many internal slogans: “Operationalize Love.”)

But in dozens of interviews, current and former WeWork employees and executives questioned whether the company’s culture is itself one worth spreading. Despite the company’s slogan “Make a Life, Not Just a Living,” employees at all levels have often reported working 60- or 70-hour weeks, and events like Thank God It’s Monday and Summer Camp were mandatory. At its annual summit, the company keeps track of employee attendance at panels and events by scanning wristbands given to each person; excessive absences are reported to managers. A number of employees describe a regular cycle at WeWork: New people would arrive, excited by the company’s mission, only to get burned out, leave, and replaced by a fresh crop. Multiple executives told me Neumann’s cheerleading was critical to the company’s success. “From a business perspective, the cult is working,” said one executive.

Employees say turnover at the company has been dizzying. Multiple people told me Neumann has expressed a desire to turn over 20 percent of WeWork’s staff every year — he denies this — whether through attrition or firings, as a means of keeping staff on its toes. There have been two publicly reported rounds of mass departures, both of which the company said involved culling unproductive workers. But employees say that restructurings, in which entire teams are suddenly disbanded, are a regular occurrence. “When you’re at WeWork, there’s a certain lack of culture, which is ironic for a company selling culture,” one former executive told me. “If there is a culture, it is that of a revolving door.” The need to hire employees at a rate to keep up with its growth has led to occasional hiccups in its hiring process: In 2015, Neumann chastised a group of employees for not Googling a job applicant after finding out that WeWork had hired the Hipster Grifter, a Brooklynite who had become briefly famous several years earlier for scamming her way into jobs and cheating people out of money.

The focus on growth often seemed to leave little room for other concerns. Two people told me that during an early town hall when WeWork had just over 100 employees, Neumann took questions alongside two other executives, Michael Gross and Noah Brodsky, and someone asked about the lack of diversity among the executive team. Neumann disputed the point by referring to himself and the other people onstage, saying, “I’m a brunette, Michael’s blond, and we have a Noah.” (Brodsky, who is gay, went bright red.)

Employees and executives say much of the culture stems from Neumann, whose rule by fiat could be frustrating. Last summer, he announced at the end of a companywide meeting that WeWork employees would no longer be permitted to expense meals that included meat. Several senior members of the company had no idea the announcement was coming or what it even meant. Hundreds of employees joined a Slack channel to debate the policy, while some found various ways around it: A person in the New York tech world said WeWork employees have asked her to expense the meat when they go out for meals.

Especially at the top, WeWork looked to some like a boys’ club. The executive ranks have been sprinkled with Neumann’s friends from Israel as well as his extended-family members. During an executive off-site meeting in Montauk, he gave a joking toast to the virtues of nepotism. In a job interview, the first question one former executive asked a young female applicant was whether she had a boyfriend (he was later fired). Last year, two female employees reported that they were having trouble getting a meeting with Adam Kimmel, the chief creative officer, to whom they reported. According to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, Kimmel later said he hadn’t met with the women because he and his wife, the actress Leelee Sobieski, had a rule against meeting alone with a member of the opposite sex. (WeWork disputes this.) In October, Ruby Anaya, the former head of culture, sued WeWork, alleging she had been groped at both the company summit and Summer Camp by colleagues (the lawsuit is pending).

Several people told me they worried about what the company’s younger employees might absorb from their experience. A former WeWorker who now runs a company told me, “I spend a lot of my time on culture and HR, and it fucking slows you down worrying about how people feel.” But one employee told me his WeWork experience had made him think about what he would do differently if he were ever to run his own start-up. “You can move fast and break things,” he said, citing Facebook’s widely adopted empire-building ethos. “But you can’t move fast and break people.””



“Will WeWork work? The company has existed entirely in an expanding economy, and its business has never been tested by a downturn. WeWork argues that in a recession, larger companies will downsize into its spaces while laid-off workers will need them to start their solo careers. But it’s also very possible that large companies who currently have ancillary spaces in WeWork will identify those as easy costs to cut, and entrepreneurs will revert to coffee shops. A third argument goes that WeWork occupies so much space that many landlords will have no choice but to renegotiate its leases.

During the dot-com boom, a company called Regus became a stock-market darling by offering similar but much blander flexible offices. In 2000, Fast Company published a story about Regus titled “Office of the Future,” highlighting its efforts to bring “community” to the workplace. But the bubble burst and Regus went bankrupt. The company recovered and rebranded as IWG, but its existence presents another conundrum for WeWork. IWG currently has roughly 3,000 locations and 2.5 million customers worldwide, numbers that dwarf WeWork’s. IWG is profitable and now has a hipper, WeWork-ish offering. It is publicly traded and worth around $3 billion.

Everyone in real estate expects the kind of flexible office space WeWork offers to become an increasingly large part of their world, and many of the company’s rivals are grateful to Neumann for preaching the gospel of co-working and shorter-term leases. Even people critical of WeWork’s culture, or skeptical of its focus on hypergrowth, say it will likely remain a force in commercial real estate. But many, too, have begun to wonder what can explain the $44 billion in valuation difference between WeWork and IWG. In a financial disclosure last year, when it was in the process of losing $1.9 billion to fund its growth, WeWork acknowledged, “We have a history of losses, and we may be unable to achieve profitability at a company level.” It also published a financial metric it called “community-adjusted EBITDA” — earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, which is an accountant-approved way of measuring a company’s performance — that excluded many costs, like marketing, construction, and design, that WeWork claimed would disappear once it reached maturity, in an attempt to show it could make a healthy profit; the Financial Times dubbed WeWork’s doctored version “perhaps the most infamous financial metric of a generation.” WeWork employees told me they would be happy if the company were worth half of what SoftBank said it was going to be. “Even if it goes down to $5 billion, Adam’s still worth a billion dollars,” one rival said, expressing concern about the perverse incentives of the modern economy. “So from an objective perspective, was it a mistake to take this hemorrhage-inducing risk? You could argue that was the rational mode.”

Back in his office, Neumann remained upbeat. “Before you ask, let’s set an intention,” Neumann told me, after a WeWork spokesperson said I had time for … [more]
hucksters  cults  adamneumann  wework  2019  scams  realestate  bubbles  openfloorplans  fraternities  hiring  turnover  myths  diversity  privilege 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Wrongest Profession | Dean Baker
[via: https://economicsociology.org/2018/07/21/bb-populism-rostows-economics-and-vietnam-war-informal-economy-grows-universities-privatization-failures-deficit-hawks-deceive-you-inequality-one-sided-economists/ ]

"How economists have botched the promise of widely distributed prosperity—and why they have no intention of stopping now"



"OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, the economics profession has compiled an impressive track record of getting almost all the big calls wrong. In the mid-1990s, all the great minds in the field agreed that the unemployment rate could not fall much below 6 percent without triggering spiraling inflation. It turns out that the unemployment rate could fall to 4 percent as a year-round average in 2000, with no visible uptick in the inflation rate.

As the stock bubble that drove the late 1990s boom was already collapsing, leading lights in Washington were debating whether we risked paying off the national debt too quickly. The recession following the collapse of the stock bubble took care of this problem, as the gigantic projected surpluses quickly turned to deficits. The labor market pain from the collapse of this bubble was both unpredicted and largely overlooked, even in retrospect. While the recession officially ended in November 2001, we didn’t start creating jobs again until the fall of 2003. And we didn’t get back the jobs we lost in the downturn until January 2005. At the time, it was the longest period without net job creation since the Great Depression.

When the labor market did finally begin to recover, it was on the back of the housing bubble. Even though the evidence of a bubble in the housing sector was plainly visible, as were the junk loans that fueled it, folks like me who warned of an impending housing collapse were laughed at for not appreciating the wonders of modern finance. After the bubble burst and the financial crisis shook the banking system to its foundations, the great minds of the profession were near unanimous in predicting a robust recovery. Stimulus was at best an accelerant for the impatient, most mainstream economists agreed—not an essential ingredient of a lasting recovery.

While the banks got all manner of subsidies in the form of loans and guarantees at below-market interest rates, all in the name of avoiding a second Great Depression, underwater homeowners were treated no better than the workers waiting for a labor market recovery. The Obama administration felt it was important for homeowners, unlike the bankers, to suffer the consequences of their actions. In fact, white-collar criminals got a holiday in honor of the financial crisis; on the watch of the Obama Justice Department, only a piddling number of bankers would face prosecution for criminal actions connected with the bubble.

There was a similar story outside the United States, as the International Monetary Fund, along with the European Central Bank and the European Union, imposed austerity when stimulus was clearly needed. As a result, southern Europe is still far from recovery. Even after another decade on their current course, many southern European countries will fall short of their 2007 levels of income. The situation looks even worse for the bottom half of the income distribution in Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

Even the great progress for the world’s poor touted in the famous “elephant graph” turns out to be largely illusory. If China is removed from the sample, the performance of the rest of the developing world since 1988 looks rather mediocre. While the pain of working people in wealthy countries is acute, they are not alone. Outside of China, people in the developing world have little to show for the economic growth of the last three and a half decades. As for China itself, the gains of its huge population are real, but the country certainly did not follow Washington’s model of deficit-slashing, bubble-driven policies for developing countries.

In this economic climate, it’s not surprising that a racist, xenophobic, misogynist demagogue like Donald Trump could succeed in politics, as right-wing populists have throughout the wealthy world. While his platform may be incoherent, Trump at least promised the return of good-paying jobs. Insofar as Clinton and other Democrats offered an agenda for economic progress for American workers, hardly anyone heard it. And to those who did, it sounded like more of the same."



"At this point, the deficit hawks typically start raising apocalyptic fears about higher taxes impoverishing our children. I have three responses to this claim.

The first is that we are all paying much higher Social Security and Medicare taxes than our parents and grandparents did. Are we therefore the victims of generational inequity? What’s more, the main reason Social Security costs are rising is that our kids will live longer lives than we will. In other words, the dire specter of a generously subsidized cohort of older Americans is actually a sign of widespread social progress. (High Medicare costs are due to an incredibly inefficient health care system, but that’s another story—one that deficit hawks are also in the midst of monkey-wrenching in order to delegitimize any state-supported solution.)

My second reply is that we should be worried about after-tax income, not the tax rate. Recall that austerity policies favored by deficit hawks may have already cost us the equivalent of an increase in the payroll tax of 14 percentage points. We’re supposed to get hysterical over the prospect that our kids may pay 2 to 3 more percentage points in payroll taxes, but be unconcerned about this huge and needless loss of before-tax income?

More generally, if we manage to reverse the wage stagnation of the past thirty-plus years and see ordinary workers once more take a share of the gains of economic growth, their before-tax pay will be 40 to 50 percent higher in three decades than it is today. If they have to give back some of these gains in higher payroll taxes in order to support a longer retirement, it’s hard to see just what the problem would be. (The bigger question, of course, is whether we can succeed in creating a political economy in which ordinary workers will once again share in generalized economic growth.) And taxes are just one way in which the government imposes costs on citizens. Donald Trump wants to have a massive infrastructure program financed by the creation of toll roads. These tolls will be paid to private companies and will not count as taxes. Feel better?

On a much larger scale, the government grants patent and copyright monopolies as an incentive for research and creative work. In the case of prescription drugs alone, these patent monopolies cost close to $350 billion a year (approximately 1.9 percent of GDP) over what the price of drugs would be in a truly free market. Even as deficit hawks try to convince us that the government can’t afford to borrow another $50 billion a year to finance the research done by the pharmaceutical industry, they tell us not to worry about the extra $350 billion we pay for drugs because of government-granted patent monopolies. This monomaniacal obsession with tax burdens, to the exclusion of any reckoning with the burden of patent monopolies, shows yet again that the deficit hawks’ oft-professed concern for our children’s well-being is purely rhetorical, and in no way serious.

We should remember that we will pass down a whole society to our kids—including the natural environment that underwrites the quality of life of future generations. If the cost of ensuring that large numbers of children do not grow up in poverty and that the planet is not destroyed by global warming is a somewhat higher current or future tax burden, that hardly seems like a bad deal—especially if the burden is apportioned fairly. Now suppose, by contrast, that we hand our kids a country in which large segments of the population are unhealthy and uneducated and the environment has been devastated by global warming, but we have managed to pay off the national debt. That is, after all, the future that many in the mainstream of the economics profession are prescribing for the country. Somehow, I don’t see future generations thanking us."
economics  economists  us  policy  politics  deanbaker  health  healthcare  deficits  government  governance  gdp  priorities  labor  markets  capitalism  socialsecurity  bubbles  greatrecession  2018  china  portugal  spain  españa  greece  eu  paulryan  timothygeitner  donaldtrump  taxes 
july 2018 by robertogreco
welcome to the future – Fredrik deBoer
"For several decades, neoliberal politicians worked tirelessly to remove any checks to our systems of financial speculation, causing the inflation of massive bubbles, driven by elite greed. They simultaneously shredded the social safety nets that would allow the lower classes to better endure the consequences of the inevitable collapse of those bubbles. The bubbles did collapse. The lower classes were devastated with unemployment, instability, and economic hopelessness. Those same elites responded by insisting that the only path forward was deeper austerity, even more vicious cuts to our already-tattered redistributive systems. Anger, naturally, grew. Nativist, nationalist demagogues responded by seizing on this anger, telling ignored and marginalized people that their problems were the fault of even-more-marginalized minorities, migrants, and refugees. Their political adversaries, rather than appealing to those angry people by offering them an economic platform that works for them and by arguing that their best interests are also the best interests of those minorities, migrants, and refugees, have doubled down on austerity politics and have dismissed those voters as deluded racists who are not fit to be appealed to. In general, liberals have entrenched deeper and deeper into geographical and social bubbles that permit them to ignore vast swaths of increasingly-embittered voters. They thus ensure that those many among the angry people who are not in fact incorrigible racists but who could be convinced to join forces for a political movement of shared prosperity never do so. The worst people appeal to the desperate, while their political opponents dismiss that desperation, and the outcome is predictable.

This is the future of the West: a contest between elitist greed and populist proto-fascism. On one side, the limitless self-interest of a financial and social elite that has created not only an economic system that siphons more and more money into their own pockets but also a bizarre, jury-rigged ideology of cultural liberalism divorced from any foundations in economic egalitarianism which argues that anyone who opposes the neoliberal order is not worthy even of trying to convince. On the other side, an increasingly-unhinged movement of racist grievance-mongering and fear-stoking populist demagoguery, which utilizes the age-old tactic of pitting different groups of poor people against each other to powerful effect, helped immensely by the corruption and callousness of the pro-austerity class. These sides share nothing except for an absolute commitment to preventing the kind of robustly redistributive platform of economic and social justice that could unite the needs of all suffering people into a formidable political bloc that is devoted to opposing austerity, inequality, racism, sexism, nativism, nationalism, and the rest of humanity’s political ills.

The choice humanity had was between socialism and barbarism. Decades of neoliberalism have ensured that we’ve chosen the latter. The choice ahead is less substantive and more aesthetic: which would you prefer crushing down on your neck, the combat boot of a fascist or the business shoe of a plutocrat?"
freddiedeboer  politics  neoliberalism  history  2016  policy  us  humanity  socialism  barbarism  bubbles  economics  greed  elitism  socialsafetynet  inequality  class  classism  marginalization  austertity  brexit  fascism  corruption  finance  capitalism  self-interest  eglitarianism  socialjustice  racism  sexism  nativism  nationalism  plutocracy  desperation 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Putting people first » The bling approach to the school of the future
"My provisional assessment is that there is a lot of bling: shiny objects promoted all around us make us focus on the tools rather than on the didactic objectives…I want to open my reflections and initial analysis – in twelve hypotheses…

1. A technology-first approach thrives…

2. There are dominant but untested preconceptions about schools, learning, teachers and students…

3. There is a boom of iPad and tablet deployments…

4. Little research has been done on educational impact…

5. Governments are pushing hard…

6. There is a lot of money to be made…

7. Apps, e-books and software are often of dubious quality…

8. Other digital tools are not part of the debate…

9. Teacher training and resources are lacking…

10. Initiatives to support schools and teachers are rare and often quite local…

11. We are facing a bubble…

12. Valuable opportunities definitely exist for players big and small… people-centred training… educational and didactic qualities and impact"
shinydistractions  bling  wastedopportunities  2012  government  training  waste  policy  teaching  digitaltools  appilications  ebooks  siliconvalley  bubbles  money  ipads  technologyfirst  edtech  tablets  education  technology  ipad 
september 2012 by robertogreco
The BS Bubble | Hack Education
[in response to: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/10/peter-thiel-were-in-a-bubble-and-its-not-the-internet-its-higher-education/ ]

"So in conclusion (holy shit, phew!) I think Lacy’s Techcrunch story conflates several important points here. They’re interconnected, sure, because they’re all part of Thiel’s spiel. But if you just take her story at face value, you miss what should actually be a pretty nuanced analysis about what education means and what education is “worth.”

If you frame the story of higher education in terms of Thiel’s argument — Ivy League schools are over-valued — and his actions — paying students from those very elite academic backgrounds to ditch the degree to become entrepreneurs under his tutelage — well, in return you get these oddly protectionist responses from the likes of Vivek Wadhwa (a vocal proponent of education who I really do admire) that end up looking like they’re propping up what is, I think many of us agree, a deeply flawed system."
education  highereducation  highered  unschooling  deschooling  money  nuance  2011  sarahlacy  peterthiel  bubbles  learning  economics  meaning  value 
april 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - China's Ghost Cities and Malls
"Documentary by SBS Dateline (Australian TV) about the Chinese real estate market.

Original link to SBS Dateline video: http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/watch/id/601007/n/China-s-Ghost-Cities "
china  economics  ghosttowns  ghostcities  cities  2011  bubbles  malls  growth  building  infrastructure  ghostmalls 
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Great American Bubble Machine | Rolling Stone Politics
"From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again"<br />
<br />
"The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance."
carboncredits  carbon  carbonoffsets  goldmansachs  matttaibbi  2011  bubbles  finance  tarp  bailout  markets  manipulation  greatdepression  dotcomboom  technology  housingbubble  housing  energy  oil  gasoline 
march 2011 by robertogreco
On Ireland, Briefly | varnelis.net
"Why weren't plans drawn up for controlled shrinkage during impending contraction or for how to utilize the massively overbuilt housing? Alas, the answer is simple: such thoughts didn't fit with the mantra that the boom would never end. Ireland was different, I was told time and time again, and unlike the tired old United States, it had discovered the secret for perpetual growth."

[Reminds me of a another promise that came out of Ireland in 2006. Remember Steorn? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn ]
comments  steorn  kazysvarnelis  economics  growth  bubbles  policy  2010 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Seven Reasons Not to Send Your Kids to College [and five alternatives] - DailyFinance
"Imagine a retirement where you could have an extra $1million to $3 million in the bank with basically no effort. Now imagine telling your kids that you aren't going to send them to college. And, you go on, you want them to immediately start a business or get to work as soon as they finish high school.

These are difficult things to imagine because we've been so scammed by the "career industry" that tells us we need college degrees in order to succeed in life, regardless of how much money we spend for those degrees or what we actually do with our lives during the four to eight years it takes us to get those degrees.

But in my view, the entire college degree industry is a scam, a self-perpetuating Ponzi scheme that needs to stop right now."
colleges  universities  highereducation  highered  cost  debt  alternative  jamesaltucher  ponzischemes  bubbles  higheredbubble  unschooling  deschooling  glvo  education  learning  entrepreneurship  income  travel  handson  apprenticeships  internships 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Last Psychiatrist: This Is Why The American Dream Is Out Of Reach [responding to: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/business/economy/07generation.html?pagewanted=all]
"his parents themselves did not follow Scott's path: grandfather…& dad…were right at the start of businesses, they didn't slide into middle management at Sterility Corp. But after taking those chances that ultimately resulted in prosperity & blah blah blah, they taught their children to do the opposite: look for new parents. Someone else to pay the life insurance policy…<br />
<br />
The parents & grandparents, like so many parents today, are disappointed in their son because he's not taking their advice, but in fact their son is taking their advice to its inevitable conclusion: he's holding out for the perfect corporate job. What they meant to advise him was to improvise towards a career like hopping a creek; but what they taught him to do was wait for the package…<br />
<br />
Where Scott is going wrong is not that he is holding out for a "better" job that isn't there; he's holding out for a job that shouldn't be there. We don't need more corporate management guys…What we need are more businesses."
business  economics  economy  employment  management  parenting  psychology  success  entrepreneurship  us  americandream  risk  security  jobs  unemployment  greatrecession  risktaking  highered  bubbles  higheredbubble  generations 
august 2010 by robertogreco
On Alan Curtis’s Century of the Self. This is the first... | varnelis.net
"...BBC documentary on rise of Freudian psychology, public relations, & conceptions of individual over last century. To what extent do psychology & public relations shape the self under network culture? This is crucial to understand. In part, I think the answer can be found in the disorders that afflict a culture. Neuresthenia & hysteria dominated psychology in the late 19th century, giving way to afflictions like psychosis & neurosis, and more recently to bipolar disorder and aspberger’s. This is a thumbnail sketch & I certainly need to elaborate it, but these afflictions could be seen as a map of the unresolved tensions within society. Moreover, popular remedies feedback on society, altering it. Thus, this WSJ article suggesting that Prozac impacted our way of thinking about the economy, exacerbating the bubble.
kazysvarnelis  bbc  thecenturyoftheself  alancurtis  self  psychology  publicrelations  networkculture  neuresthenia  hysteria  prozac  bubbles  psychosis  neurosis  bipolardisorder  aspergers  society  social  economics 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The Higher Educational Bubble Continues to Grow ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
"Higher education, writes Karl Kapp, is in the grip of a bubble. The signs?

- core mission and fundamentals are ignored
- disproportionate compensation at the highest levels
- product value doesn't match marketplace expectations
- prices are manipulated without regard to market supply and demand
- perception of exclusivity
- a delusion that "this market is different"

I have long affirmed that such a crisis is coming and that it would arrive very suddenly after being years in the making. It is now very close - within a matter of months. 2010 some time, maybe (at the outside) 2011, at least in North America. Funding will dry up, there will be significant staff reductions, institutions will merge or close, and administrators will be desperate for alternatives. Not just in education, but education will be very hard hit, and at all levels."
education  future  stephendownes  highereducation  colleges  universities  2009  2010  crisis  bubbles 
november 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Mother of all carry trades faces an inevitable bust
"This unraveling may not occur for a while, as easy money and excessive global liquidity can push asset prices higher for a while. But the longer and bigger the carry trades and the larger the asset bubble, the bigger will be the ensuing asset bubble crash. The Fed and other policymakers seem unaware of the monster bubble they are creating. The longer they remain blind, the harder the markets will fall."
us  policy  economics  bubbles  commodities  finance  2009  nourielroubini  currency  government  trading 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The China Bubble's Coming -- But Not the One You Think | Foreign Policy
"All in all, this spells trouble -- a big, big Chinese bubble. Identifying such bubbles is a lot easier than timing their collapse. But as we've recently learned, you can defy the laws of financial gravity for only so long. Put simply, mean reversion is a bitch. And the longer excesses persist, the harder the financial gravity will bring China's economy back to Earth." [via: http://varnelis.net/microblog/reasons_to_be_wary]
china  economics  bubbles  finance  world  crisis  meltdown  recession 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Bobbie Johnson meets Douglas Rushkoff, who helped to shape the internet in the early 90s | Books | The Guardian
"Rushkoff says he started working on the book more than four years ago (although getting mugged brought the project into sharper focus). Back then, friends and acquaintances scoffed at his predictions that the housing bubble was going to hurt a lot further down the line. "It's a little sad," he says. "I wrote the book in the future tense, and then when I was editing I had to put it in the present, and then - in the last draft - I had to put it in the past.""
douglasrushkoff  housingbubble  bubbles  economics  books  reviews  individualism  consumption  consumerism  technology  society  culture  interviews  activism  corporations  business  ideology 
june 2009 by robertogreco
On Restructuring | varnelis.net
"Is there an easy solution to this? No. We have wasted the mad money of the last two decades on starchitecture and jet skis instead of a physical and social infrastructure that would allow us to deal with the realities of the city. It's going to be a long process of rebuilding and, given the bad politics of both parties (albeit especially the Republicans), the odds are against us."
kazysvarnelis  crisis  change  bubbles  starchitects  infrastructure  us  economics  politics  policy  2009 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: The economic collapse of Japan and the Phoenix Suns
"The Suns have been spending lots in recent years toward the goal of ever-rising prices for season tickets and corporate boxes. Does that strategy sound familiar?" Replace "The Suns" with "many independent schools" and insert "tuition" for "prices for season tickets and corporate boxes" and you have the predicament of many NAIS schools.
tylercowen  economics  money  finance  sports  bailout  management  property  nba  nais  bubbles  tuition  leadership  spending  administration  gamechanging  waste  cv  tcsnmy 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Goodbye Dubai | Smashing Telly - A hand picked TV channel
"Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea, and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai - it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.
via:kottke  dubai  collapse  crisis  economics  realestate  architecture  culture  design  cities  planning  debt  bubbles 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Ruins of the Future - Strangeharvest :: Architecture / Design / Culture
"Tomorrows visitors to todays (or yesterdays) iconic buildings will feel the swoosh of volumes, the cranked out impossibility of structure, the lightheadedness of refection and translucencies. They will marvel at buildings that hardly touch the ground, which swoop into the air as though drawn up by the jet stream. They will feel stretched by elongated angles that seem sucked into vanishing points that confound perspective, and will be seduced by curves of such overblown sensuality. And in this litany of affects they will find the most permanent record of the heady liquid state of mind of millennial abstract-boom economics. We might rechristen these freakish sites as museums of late capitalist experience, monuments to a never to be repeated faith in the global market."
society  culture  architecture  recession  ruins  future  latecapitalism  boom  lostopportunities  design  collapse  economics  bubbles 
february 2009 by robertogreco
potlatch: 'post-speculative melancholia'
"But I keep feeling something similar in relation to retail and advertising. The efforts being taken to encourage spending are beginning to feel half-hearted and self-conscious. The VAT cut was issued in the way that a teacher threatens a class with punishment, long after they've lost control over them. Then there is the surreally banal advertising, that probably would have exuded confidence and brashness during the boom years." ... "post-speculative melancholia, in which a sweeping utilitarianism suddenly arises, in which technologies must do something or else get lost and the drugged up sense of nothing mattering is followed by a come-down in which the whole thing seems regrettable."
via:blackbeltjones  economics  crisis  2008  2009  consumerculture  consumerism  postmaterialism  melancholy  latecapitalism  bubbles  recession  advertising  critique  emotions  psychology 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles - O'Reilly Radar
"I spent a lot of last year urging people to work on stuff that matters. This led to many questions about what that "stuff" might be. I've been a bit reluctant to answer those questions, because the list is different for everyone. I thought I'd do better to start the new year with some ideas about how to think about this for yourself. ... 1. Work on something that matters to you more than money.2. Create more value than you capture. 3. Take the long view."

[See also video interview: http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/01/work-on-stuff-that-matters-interview-tim-oreilly.html ]
timoreilly  business  economics  recessions  importance  community  work  life  productivity  startups  entrepreneurship  valueadded  sustainability  brianeno  longhere  longnow  bighere  bignow  bubbles  innovation  philosophy  principles  advice 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Global Guerrillas: INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION?
"Since nearly all of the value of an education has been extracted by the producer, to the detriment of the customer, this situation has all the earmarks of a bubble. A bubble that will soon burst as median incomes are adjusted downwards to global norms over the next decade". lectures + application + collaboration. "When will the floodgates open? The shift towards online education as the norm and in-person as the exception will arrive, however, the path is unclear. It is currently blocked by guilds/unions, inertia, credentialism, and romantic notions."
change  reform  education  learning  online  elearning  colleges  universities  futurism  future  business  trends  economics  opensource  mit  johnrobb  crisis  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  lcproject  gamechanging  money  tuition  inflation  price  cost  bubbles  2009  credentials  teaching  students 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Joseph E. Stiglitz on capitalist fools: About Us: vanityfair.com
"Behind the debate over remaking U.S. financial policy will be a debate over who’s to blame. It’s crucial to get the history right, writes a Nobel-laureate economist, identifying five key mistakes—under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II—and one national delusion."
josephstiglitz  bubbles  finance  crisis  2008  georgewbush  alangreenspan  billclinton  us  markets  deregulation  bailout  regulation  business  history  economics  politics  capitalism  meltdown  banking 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Financialization of Capital and the Crisis - Monthly Review [see also: http://links.org.au/node/794]
"radically different economic view...suggests normal path of mature capitalist economies...US, major Western European countries & Japan, is one of stagnation rather than rapid growth. In this perspective, today’s periodic crises...point to serious & growing long-term constraints on capital accumulation." ... "The hard truth of the matter is that the regime of monopoly-finance capital is designed to benefit a tiny group of oligopolists who dominate both production and finance. A relatively small number of individuals and corporations control huge pools of capital and find no other way to continue to make money on the required scale than through a heavy reliance on finance and speculation. This is a deep-seated contradiction intrinsic to the development of capitalism itself. If the goal is to advance the needs of humanity as a whole, the world will sooner or later have to embrace an alternative system. There is no other way."
via:javierarbona  capitalism  corporations  investment  financialization  johnbellamyfoster  banking  finance  crisis  economics  collapse  debt  leverage  capital  class  us  bubbles  greatdepression 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Iceland, fishing for answers | World news | The Guardian
"Palme Vidar, with the wisdom of 73 years, is equally ruminative. "This is a small country," he says. "We have always swung, between feast and famine. There have been terrible times before, too, when the sheep bubble burst and the herring fleet failed. We always hang on. And you know, we were not going in a good direction. When I was a boy, if you went to the harbour to fish and you got wet, you could not fish again until the next day, because you had only one pair of trousers. Today people have too many trousers.""
iceland  crisis  2008  economics  recession  bubbles  markets  wisdom 
october 2008 by robertogreco
k-punk: Be positive... or else
"There's an interesting parallel between this necessity of positive thinking on the markets and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (recently attacked by Darian Leader in The Guardian). Cognitive Behavioural therapists draw on data which suggests that most people survive everyday life by having an inflated idea of their own abilities. "Realism" would therefore be dysfunctional (and would be likely to lead to depression), just as "positive thinking" increases people's confidence and capacities. Leader attacks Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for being a market-driven, quick-fix solution to psychological problems which require longer term (psychoanalytic) treatment, but it is the idea that positive thinking is mandatory which most closely links neoliberalism and CBT."
via:blackbeltjones  latecapitalism  markets  psychology  economics  psychoanalysis  depression  realism  inflatedopinions  bubbles  optimism  crisis  pessimism  cv  k-punk  markfisher 
october 2008 by robertogreco
The Fool of Last Resort - Finance Blog - Felix Salmon - Market Movers - Portfolio.com
"If the problem is that there are too few fools in the market, it might make perfect sense for the Fed to step in as a fool of last resort. With any luck, once the Fed starts acting foolishly, other market participants will follow suit."
bubbles  finance  government  economics  liquidity 
march 2008 by robertogreco
SGVTribune.com - Statewide home sales fall
"Locally, Pasadena took the biggest hit, with a year-over-year price drop of 30.1 percent from December 2006."
losangeles  pasadena  housing  homes  bubbles  housingbubble  markets  ouch 
january 2008 by robertogreco
The Autumn of the Multitaskers
"Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity"
multitasking  continuouspartialattention  attention  psychology  neuroscience  behavior  brain  cognition  cognitive  concentration  memory  connectivity  culture  society  stress  productivity  education  learning  lifehacks  slow  mind  organization  theatlantic  technology  recession  trends  bubbles  mobile  phones  distraction  etiquette  economics  freedom  simplicity  digitalnatives 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Calculated Risk: Wachovia: Homeowners just Walking Away
"1 of greatest fears for lenders (+investors in mortgage backed securities) is...socially acceptable for upside down middle class Americans to walk away from homes...homeowners with "capacity to pay...just decided not to." Wachovia is seeing that happen n
bubbles  homes  realestate  housingbubble  via:migurski  business  finance  economics  credit 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Tough remedies stay on shelf amid refinancing fever - Los Angeles Times
"1990s, when Latin Am & Asia rocked by financial crises similar to one now dogging US, officials' stern advice: Don't bail out banks or intervene when bubbles pop. Let your economies shrink to natural levels....now aren't following own advice"
us  economics  housing  markets  history  bubbles  recession 
january 2008 by robertogreco
FT.com / Comment & analysis / Comment - The worst market crisis in 60 years
"The 60-year super-boom is a more complicated case."..."The danger is that the resulting political tensions, including US protectionism, may disrupt the global economy and plunge the world into recession or worse."
economics  georgesoros  finance  bubbles  recession  money  markets  investing  global  credit  crisis  trading  future  trade  banking  globalization 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Prices Decline as Gentrification Ebbs - New York Times
"Property values have plummeted throughout the city, as much as 30 percent in some neighborhoods. But in the partially gentrified areas, he said, the decline has been steeper. Some apartments have sold for half what their owners paid; some seem unsalable
nyc  housing  housingbubble  bubbles  1990s  1991  history  economics  money  gentrification  us  cities 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Frieze Foundation | Talks | Custodians of Culture - Schoolyard Art: Playing Fair Without the Referee
"Dave Hickey (Cultural Critic and Professor of English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas) will present a keynote lecture on the subject of selling without selling out focusing on how sites of commerce have evolved from the white cube to the art fair."
davehickey  culture  art  commerce  money  value  truth  criticism  economics  bubbles  noncommercialart 
october 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read